Young Users Are Leaving Facebook, Where Are They Going?

In 2017, eMarketer predicted decreases in Facebook users in the under 25 age range. Recently, new information was released showing that the decline was much greater than they had initially projected. Shockingly, they reported, “for the first time, less than half of US internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook via any device at least once per month”. In 2018, it is forecasted that the 25 and younger users will continue to decline with an estimated loss of 2 million users for Facebook.2

With such a drastic change in usage behavior, many wonder about why this trend is occurring. In a study conducted by the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, teens were surveyed about their usage patterns on social media. Interestingly, they found that 58% of those surveyed said that they have taken some type of break from their social platforms and 65% of those respondents took their social media break voluntarily.   While teens reported that social media makes them feel informed and connected to family and friends, they also reported feeling overwhelmed, lonely, missing out, and overloaded with information.3 According to the founder of Zebra intelligence, Tiffany Zhong, they have found that teens see Facebook as “a mixture of low-quality random things” and that much of the content is not relevant to their lives.4

As Facebook is one of the main platforms used for marketing, it leaves many marketers wondering where they should spend their money to reach this audience. While young adults and teens may be decreasing their usage of Facebook, other social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are top contenders for this demographic due to their visual format and ability to be more selective about what information is seen. For 2018, eMarketer forecasts a 1.6M user increase for Instagram and a 1.9M user increase for Snapchat.2

This information can be discouraging when using Facebook to market to younger audiences; however, there are steps you can take to still see success from your social campaigns. First, be sure that the content posted is relevant to the intended audience. This can be done by focusing ads toward specific audience interests and demographics through ad targeting. Next, establish a presence on other platforms that your target audience use, such as Instagram and Snapchat.  With an improved targeting strategy and a presence on multiple platforms, reaching the under 25 group will not be a problem.

If this seems like a challenge, Ignite Social Media can help. Learn about our offered services here.


  1. “Instagram, Snapchat Adoption Still Surging in US and UK …” August 23, 2017.
  2. “Facebook Losing Younger Users But not all are migrating to Instagram.” February 12, 2018.
  3. “American Teens Are Taking Breaks from Social Media; Some …” Accessed March 2, 2018.
  4. “The Truth About Teens and Their Social Media Habits.” August 31, 2017.

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